Review: Appalachian Witches Rise In ‘Hellboy And The B.P.R.D: The Return Of Effie Kolb #1’
by Josh Davison
Mild Spoilers Ahead
Hellboy returns to the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia in 1967 to visit an old friend and ally: Tommy Ferrell. Hellboy, Tommy, and Reverend Nathanial Watts fought the Crooked Man years back. The Reverend has since past and Tom is worried that something else is brewing in the mountains. A young clairvoyant named Sara May Blackburn has foreseen disaster in a nearby mansion estate which once housed the Crooked Man and this may be the kind of thing only Hellboy can stop. Hellboy and Sara May begin their trek to the Crooked Man’s home.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Return of Effie Kolb #1 finds Big Red returning to Virginia Appalachians to follow up on the Crooked Man case. Something is brewing at the Crooked Man’s home and it’ll be up to Hellboy to stop whatever is coming.
The first part of the comic consists of Hellboy catching up with Tommy Ferrell and it’s an endearing sequence. Tommy has grown old and the Reverend has passed. However, Tommy still has some good stories to share of the interim and Hellboy clearly has some affection for old Tommy.
Sara May Blackburn is a young and impressionable innocent in this unfolding drama. Hellboy, naturally, feels protective of her, but she is eager to prove that she can take care of herself.
All of this serves to further humanize Hellboy, which Mike Mignola has always done with ease. Despite his visage, Big Red has always been a friendly and funny demon.
What they find at the Crooked Man’s house is ominous and perplexing. However, it doesn’t indicate any kind of imminent doom.
Artist Zach Howard provides some top-notch artwork to this chapter, providing an aptly dirty and gritty environment for Hellboy and his friends. The flashbacks to the Crooked Man and the witch coven that surrounded him are genuinely creepy. Dave Stewart gives the book a muted and decaying color palette and it looks downright fantastic.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Return of Effie Kolb #1 is an atmospheric and eerie return to the Virginia Appalachians for Hellboy. We meet an old friend and watch Hellboy catch up with him before trekking out to stop a new threat. It’s a damn good story with excellent visuals and it easily earns a recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: The Return of Effie Kolb #1 comes to us from writer Mike Mignola, artist and cover artist Zach Howard, color artist Dave Stewart, and letterer Clem Robins.
Final Score: 8.5/10